Guest Column: Clear strategy, execution led to successful integration

FloorCoveringNews

Guest Column: Clear strategy, execution led to successful integration
January 18, 2016

Jan 18/25; Volume 30/Number 15

By Alan Cross

Four months after KCS Commercial Systems (KCS) acquired Dancik International, I am reflecting on the events that unfolded after the deal was closed. More than anything else, I am looking forward to a bright future for the business. We had a very clear strategy and plan that had to be executed from the first day post acquisition. In addition, we had a number of key objectives and time frames that we felt had to be achieved to make the integration of the businesses a success.

The first part of the plan included a relocation from the KCS corporate headquarters in Hungerford, United Kingdom, to Cary, N.C., the home of Dancik International. It was vital for us to have an executive presence here in the U.S. through the transition process that saw Mitch Dancik, founder and owner of Dancik, and his wife, Thuy, slowly exit from the day-to-day business operations. Without a KCS presence there was huge potential for a vacuum; we had to demonstrate our commitment to the people at Dancik, and that was our absolute first priority.

This focus on the staff included my one-to-one meetings with each of the 53 Dancik employees. It was insightful and important for me personally to meet everyone to give them a personal look at KCS, discuss our business plans and to listen to the feedback that I felt was crucial to create a new team dynamic and build trust.

To parallel the team integration, KCS wanted to ensure that existing Dancik customers had clear and unambiguous communication detailing the strategic vision for the business. The key messaging saw KCS committing to the long-term future of the Dancik Navigator product. The software is functionally rich and designed specifically for the floor covering distribution market. We didn’t hesitate in stating our clear intention to continue to develop, support and sell the product across North America.

Dancik customers have been supportive of the acquisition. This was underpinned by record attendance at the annual Dancik user conference, Connect 2015, held over two days in October last year. KCS CEO Ian Bendelow opened the event which showcased the new rebranding of Dancik in line with KCS.

Connect 2015 was a huge success, and it was clear the customers were extremely positive about the future prospects of working with the new Dancik. We were able to highlight our product roadmap, have senior level discussions with a number of our customers and also showcase the opportunities to introduce new product modules available today from KCS, which will further support customers in achieving their business objectives.

Looking toward the future, I am excited about the prospects for the Dancik brand in North America. We have invested in the team, adding more resources to support growing customer demand. We have published our product roadmap for Navigator and all ancillary modules and launched its K8 software solution focusing on construction (building supplies, electrical and plumbing wholesalers and lumber) distributive trades that underpin the main customer base in Europe.

We have acquired a great business with a proven product and a bright future. We have inherited an amazing group of software professionals who are committed to supporting our loyal customers.

 

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